Monday, November 30, 2009

St. Croix River, Bayport Power Plant : Photography

I had the wish to photograph the Bayport Power Plant in Minnesota from across the river in the darkness on black Friday. I set out in search of a proper spot along the bluff across the river to capture this steam expelling stack that I used as a compass throughout my childhood, as it could often be located through the trees of even the denser woods of my home town.

I started off in North Hudson and captured it from an angle I wasn't pleased with, but it was a good warm up.

I then made my way to an abandoned rest stop, pulled the car far off the road, and hiked to the edge of the bluff. I had a friend with me and after a minute of conversing and shining a headlight into the brambles at our feet we decided this wasn't the spot. I then unfolded my tripod for a quick capture with my Nikon and realized that this actually was the perfect spot and that we would have to make it down the bluff to the water's edge.

It was maybe 100 vertical feet down a leaf covered decline. After a few minutes of slipping and tangoing with burrs we found ourself standing on the stones at the foot of the St. Croix river.

After making a few images and completing a panoramic it was time to go. Having little feeling left in my hands I slung my tripod onto my shoulder and called for my friend Doug to follow me up the hill. As I made my way over the fragile piles of drift wood I reached my foot out for a board, an even surface to find a footing.

As I soon found out this board had a series of 3" long nails sticking out of it's surface and the ball of my toes found it's way to the point of one of these rusty spikes. I felt pressure as the nail punctured my shoe and my thick wool sock like they were butter, I instantly reeled and rocked back to my other foot, careful not to fall. I felt a pang of pain shoot into my foot as I lifted the 8 foot long 2x4 clear from the ground, hanging from my foot. I shook it loose and consulted with my friend. We decided to high tail it up the bluff and investigate in the car.

Upon reaching the top of the slope we entered the car, turned on the lights, and I took off my shoe. To my surprise the nail hit a callas and was stopped before entering my bloodstream. A half an inch either way and it would have stuck straight into my foot. A Tetanus shot was narrowly avoided and I was thrilled for the rest of the evening. The adventure, the cool crisp air, the time with a friend, and the images were worth a Tetanus shot in my mind but I'm happy to be without one as well.

Portland Oregon this week for work, back to fishing this weekend as soon as I can. Seeforellen Brown Trout are invading the harbors and rivers, and last weeks rain and snow pushed clean Steelhead into all my favorite holes.

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